New York Frieze Week gossip: skipping the Kusama queue, a trafficstopper in pink and a megadealer loses out



You’re never more than six feet in the world away from a Yayoi Kusama work, apparently. We jest, but Kusama fans will relish dealer David Zwirner’s show of new sculptures and paintings on view at his 19th Street gallery in New York. Everyone is clamouring, of course, to experience the dazzling new Infinity Mirror Room piece Dreaming of Earth’s Sphericity, I Would Offer My Love (2023). However, do not despair if you’ve not yet bagged a ticket. “We will have a second ‘skip the line’ opportunity in late June when 200 randomly selected people—via email sign-ups—will be invited to a private viewing of the show,” a gallery spokesperson says. So, no queuing for Kusama for a lucky handful.

Mark Handforth’s new public sculpture fêtes Barnett Newman

© Mark Handforth, Courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York, Photo: Farzad Owrang

Four-midable tribute

Gallery-hoppers out in Tribeca this week will be struck by a neon-hued addition to Barnett Newman Triangle, the traffic wedge at the intersection of Church and White streets, which Newman’s studio overlooked. Sculptor Mark Handforth’s new work at the site, Franklin Street Four (2023), is a tall metal cylinder twisted to form the number four. It is finished in bright pink, an allusion to the hue of Dan Flavin’s 1971 portrait of Newman in fluorescent lights (now in SFMoMA’s permanent collection). Handforth’s tribute is on view until November; his solo show across the street at Luhring Augustine continues until 28 July.

Dealer Larry Gagosian came up short in a duel of paddles over this Basquiat

Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd.

Basquiat bidding war—take two?

At Christie’s 21st century art evening sale Monday night (15 May), the star lot was Jean-Michel Basquiat’s monumental El Gran Espectaculo (The Nile) (1983), which sold for $58m ($67.1m with fees) after a five-minute bidding war between several would-be buyers. The underbidder was later revealed to be mega-dealer Larry Gagosian, who worked with Basquiat before the artist’s tragic death in 1988. The eight-figure price tag makes El Gran Espectaculo the fourth most valuable Basquiat work ever sold at auction. Rival auction house Sotheby’s will offer its own large-scale Basquiat when Now’s The Time (1985) goes up for sale Thursday (18 May), estimated to fetch $30m.


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